The race to the bottom hasn’t worked, so how about a race to the top?

When it comes to pricing, agents have a choice. The ‘race to the bottom’ hasn’t worked – with agents going bust trying to compete against the cheaper online agents.

So isn’t it now time to go for a premium service and products across all price ranges in a ‘race to the top’ instead?

This means offering every product available on the portals, upping your spend on Facebook and other social media, and driving more viewings to increase the offer price, getting loyalty from sellers in the process who will refer your services to others.

Isn’t it time we all started to charge what we’re worth?

 Ignore Google reviews at your peril

Agents by now will understand the vital role that Google plays in marketing their businesses, particularly when it comes to organic search and Google ads.

Yet why do so many fail to harness the power of Google My Business and Google Reviews?

We have seen a direct correlation between the number of excellent Google Reviews that we have had and the number of sales leads received.

The volume of such reviews also appears to have had a direct impact on raising our websites up the search engine rankings.

If you don’t invite your customers to leave a Google Review, you could find yourself languishing at the bottom of the search results in your local area – missing a really good opportunity to promote your business to as wide an audience as possible.

And if you rely on your own anonymous testimonials from ‘Mr X’ or ‘Mrs Y’, how can any prospective customer know that these tributes are genuine and not made up by your own staff?

Of course, most agents will get a bad review from time to time – and often for unfair reasons.

So incentivise your staff to improve the level of customer service you offer and you will reap the rewards from genuinely delighted customers, driving new leads and improving your search engine rankings for free in the process.

We’ve got some branches where Google Reviews have accounted for 40% of the valuations – ignore them at your peril!

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20 Comments

  1. Property Poke In The Eye

    You need well paid staff who know how to close and give a great service.  It’s not all about “products” and having every product.

    Paul should try and call his branches as a potential buyer and see where the improvements need to take place.  (Start with Chiswick)

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    1. Bless You

      While we play by the rules.
       
      Purplebricks customers on market since June.
       
      These people would have changed agents if on no sale no fee contracts.
       
      Maybe gov’t. Should put in place . Payanyway subject to completing in 6 months from instruction. Or your money back. #rightmove #zoopla you are allowing this to happen.  

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  2. JonnyBanana43

    Agents are a funny breed. Most talk about increasing fees and then get stage fright on the pitch. Too scared of losing it to the competitor over the road.

    Wouldn’t you rather sell 100 houses a year at 1.5% than 150 houses pa at 1%  …? Same money, 33% more work.

    Higher fees = good customer service.

    You have to be prepared to lose a few though… that’s how it works!

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  3. ArthurHouse02

    Paul, you are completely mad. Its not about spend, it never has been its about working smart, efficiently and having motivated and well trained staff. The public arent hooked in by all the add ons on Rightmove, all the extra Google/facebook rubbish doesnt bring in enough volume as proved by PB/Emoov/Yopa etc. For all the rubbish you waste money on, far better to have great staff who can make the most of every opportunity.

    People contact agents every day, but are often let down because the person the other end of the phone/email/desk cant be bothered or comes across uninterested.

     

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    1. JonnyBanana43

       That’s absolutely right – my neighbour spends £2500 a month on Rightmove – I’ve cut down to basic at £900 per month – we essentially get the same leads – money straight into the Rightmove pocket! 

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    2. SLF

      ArthurHouse02. We’ll assume you’re new to estate agency (and the 21st century). Google/facebook rubbish??. Oh dear.

      “far better to have great staff who can make the most of every opportunity.” ……………running out and accosting the little old lady peering through the cobwebs on your office window or ringing round your valuations from five years ago.

      Wake up and smell the coffee!

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      1. ArthurHouse02

        Hi SLF

        Unfortunately not new to estate agency at all. Selling/buying property is not a product industry it is about people and those with the best trained, motivated people will succeed, those that focus on attempting to buy in leads via Rightmove, Facebook, Google etc are wasting alot of money, a hell of a lot.

        If it were all about tech etc then the call centre agents would be succeeding, crushing the high street and romping away. But they are not, instead they are accruing massive losses, some going bust. Why is this?? Because they dont understand how estate agency works and in some of most instance employ staff who could not make it in high street estate agents.

        Technology is there to assist the skills of our employees not to replace them.

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        1. Property Pundit

          This is it in a nutshell.

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  4. Peter Ambrose (The Partnership)

    It is an interesting point about reviews and I am in total agreement (as ever!) with ArthurHouse2.

    Review sites for property services are most definitely a curates egg and in my opinion, like one-off advertisments or sponsorship of roundabouts never generate leads.  They merely give confirmation of a proposed decision.  (I also think that their main goal is to make you feel better about your competitors when you see a bad review!)

    We always encourage our clients to leave reviews and yet the take up rate is minimal – less than 1%.  It’s not because they are particularly happy or particularly sad, but in today’s service-lead environment, we did the job that they expected us to do…

    Fundamentally, leaving reviews are either an altruistic action or a way to vent frustration.

    Generating leads – we’ll keep doing it the old-fashioned way – word of mouth …

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  5. Richard Rawlings

    The way to get great customer reviews is not about giving good service – they expect that – it’s absolutely knocking their socks off with an extraordinary experience, making them feel good and having a culture of pleasant surprises. And if anyone is in any doubt about the race to the top being possible, read about Dr.Paddy Lund, the Australian dentist who fired half his clients, locked his door, took down his sign and accepted new clients by referral only. He now works fewer hours, loves the fact that he only has wealthy and appreciative clients, and earns nearly three times more than he did previously.

    In my experience the most progressive agents are those who are not from an agency background. They have the courage to rip up the rule book, they love their customers, they don’t chase volume ahead of profit (in fact they dont even chase the profit – that comes as a result of their love for their customers) and they are humble enough to have a sprit of continual learning. These are the 2%+ agents and as I have predicted in the past, the market is currently polarising, and rightly so, as the customer will now have a real choice, not just based on fee. Have a great day.

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    1. Woodentop

      “The way to get great customer reviews is not about giving good service” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      1. Blue

        Is that as far as you read Woodentop ?

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    2. agency negotiation

      Perfect.

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  6. Bigbee73

    Very interesting! When i was invited for a job interview with one of Paul’s team, my entire stance was about the quality of Service. Sadly when i informed them that i wasn’t an Agent that door knocked (may be i’m too old school?) i could tell the interviewer had made their decision. You can probably tell that I don’t work for Haarts!

     

    Not sure Paul has his finger on the pulse at shop floor level of his own business?

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    1. Richard Rawlings

      Hi Bigbee – I think you’ll find that the top agents provide and extraordinary experience (as no doubt you do), but the more business-minded also have a passion for prospecting. It’s about combining quality with quantity. Agents who only have one of these are missing a trick. 

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      1. Bigbee73

        Hi Richard,   This is an area I have tried to see the bigger picture, for many years. As i genuinly believe that word of mouth is the best recommendation available, I also believe that by having to door knock, you’re implying the customer can’t make their own decisions.  Whilst I would happily answer the door to myself and others I know at high end Agencies, who incidently wouldn’t dream of knocking on a strangers door, I cannot say the same for too many others I know in the industry. Whilst the business owners and Directors insist on their employees using this tactic, I feel it smacks of desperation. If the Agent is good enough, they will always have enough business, they shouldn’t have to go begging for it? This defintely has more to do with creating personal wealth (at almost any cost) than supplying the highest levels of service for the clients one already has! Agents Greed, i’m afraid!

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    2. m0nty

      Bigbee73…. looks like you dodged a bullet:

      “So incentivise your staff to improve the level of customer service you offer”

      https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Spicerhaart-Reviews-E762766.htm

       

       

       

       

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      1. Bigbee73

        Sure feels like it!
         
        🙂

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  7. AnyoneForCoffee

    So after all the bluff and bluster about how good ‘On The Market’ or ‘Flunk’ are, you then jump into bed with RM on a big spend?? Red panty night for Google and RM then. Incentivising staff? Try keeping good staff Mr S. and with a tech/people balance, maybe the reviews you so desire will follow? Statistics don’t lie but statisticians do!

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  8. Woodentop

    Look in the mirror ..there is the answer! As to everything else … the list is long and all contribute to winning business, there is no single answer to human nature which has differing opinions and attitude. Some you will win, some you will lose, except it but don’t get lazy.

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